According to Blacklock’s Reporter, unions and environmental groups want the federal government to increase the carbon tax by nearly double its current rate.
Labour unions and environmental lobbyists including Unifor and the David Suzuki Foundation make up the Climate Action Network, who wish to see the tax on Canadians increased by 10 dollars a year above its $50 a tonne cap.
“We think the carbon price should continue to ramp up ten dollars a year, year over year, in the coming years. If we see the carbon tax continue to go up ten dollars a year, year over year, we’ll see it at fifty dollars a year in 2022, 2023 it will be $60 – you can do the math,” said executive director of the Climate Action Network, Catherine Abreu.
Currently, Canadian households spend between $200 to $400 a year on the carbon tax depending on their province of residence.
During the election, Unifor came out against the Conservative Party and its leader Andrew Scheer, who sought to repeal the carbon tax if elected. The official Twitter account of the union posted images of union heads declaring themselves to be “Andrew Scheer’s worst nightmare”.
According to the 2018 Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, the carbon tax is set to reach its maximum cap by 2022, however, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) stated in a report that this rate would not meet the Paris Agreement targets. According to the PBO, the tax would have to be a whopping $102 a tonne to meet these targets.
Prior to the election, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna stated that if re-elected the Liberals would review the 2022 emissions cap in light of the PBO report. She did not clarify whether or not the Trudeau government would raise the price of the carbon tax.
Such an increase could raise the carbon tax on gasoline over the current cap of 12 cents a litre to over 23 cents a litre.
After Justin Trudeau’s re-election in October, Ontario Premier Doug Ford pledged that he will continue to challenge the federal carbon tax all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada. Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have all mounted or joined in on a constitutional challenge to the levy.
Saskatchewan’s challenge is set to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in December. In July, Quebec Premier François Legault announced that his province will intervene on behalf of Saskatchewan in order to “protect provincial jurisdiction.”
“I have been clear with the premiers of other provinces who are opposed for other reasons to this encroachment. We want to protect provincial jurisdiction to fight climate change,” said Legault on the decision.
Most recently, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to pause the carbon tax until 2020 so the province can look at different ways to meet emission targets without taxing ordinary Canadians.
Prior to the request, Premier Moe sent a letter to the prime minister asking for a “new deal” on equalization, pipelines and the carbon tax, pointing to frustration among Canadians in the Prairies. The re-election of Justin Trudeau to a minority Liberal government has led to a rise in separatist sentiments in the western provinces. A recent rally in Edmonton organized by Wexit Alberta saw several hundred attendees join to discuss the topic of separation.
“There is frustration here in the Prairie provinces. There is a fire burning in the Prairie provinces,” said Moe.